At a relatively statuesque 5 feet 9 inches, local designer Sandra Lichtenstien often struggles to find clothes that fit – trousers often skim at the ankles and shirts are never quite long enough in the sleeves. Yet this hindrance has in fact turned out to be somewhat of a blessing.
After a frustrating shopping trip a little more than 10 years ago, Sandra decided to turn her hand at making her own clothes and was soon running up everything from dresses, trousers and blouses. Six years later, an opportunity presented itself for Sandra to show off her design skills.
“A friend of mine had taken her wedding dress to a local seamstress to be altered, but when it came back it hadn’t been altered correctly and there was no way we could fix the problem.” Sandra explains. “I offered to make her a new wedding dress. Things started to take off from there.”
Indeed, two years ago, Sandra made her daughter’s wedding dress and discovered her passion for designing wedding dresses and evening gowns and since then requests have flooded in.
Inspired by design houses such as Coco Channel and Ralph Lauren, Sandra describes her designs as “minimalistic, modern and socialite,” however, at the end of the day she says her designs are mostly influenced by the wishes of her clients.
While still a hobby for now – during the day Sandra runs a successful events company – she hopes to one day turn it into a full time business. Yet, for now she is working on honing her skills and growing a client list.
Sandra will be showcasing 10 designs at this year’s upcoming FRESH Cayman Couture Fashion Show, slated for Saturday, 28 April, alongside local designers Jacqueline Bleicher, Shirley DaCosta, Melissa Dilbert, Virginia Foster and Mara Mcbean. Guest designers Kidan Brooks and Jawara Alleyne will also present their latest collections during the event. The designs will be showcased by more than 40 local models, who were recently hand-picked during a recruitment drive.
Now in its fifth year, FRESH is the longest running fashion event and is organised by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation to highlight local designers and give them a platform.
A number of pre- and post-show events are scheduled around FRESH and the public is encouraged to check Facebook and Twitter for updates about the event and to learn more about the models and designers.